walkhighlands

(Bin of Cullen sunrise)^-1

Date walked: 14/08/2022

Time taken: 1.25 hours

Distance: 5.5km

Ascent: 180m

This turned out not bad for a semi-planned walk. That is to say, I was trying to second-guess where the coastal inversion might end up based on both the weather forecast and on what I could see in the early morning gloom. So I had about five options in mind.
First decision point was at Turriff and whether to head to Banff and then Bin of Cullen or whether to head to Huntly with the options of Bennachie, Tap o' Noth, The Buck and Ben Rinnes. The mist, from what I could so far discern, looked a bit deep for Bin of Cullen and I had tried for an inversion there before in similar circumstances but ended up inside a cloud.
At the next junction I had to decide between Bennachie and the others. Since there was no mist in the Bennachie direction my mind was made up for me and thoughts turned to Tap o' Noth since I'd had a good sunrise inversion on Ben Rinnes last year. BUT the mist cleared again south of Huntly so I went back to the square one option of Bin of Cullen, hoping that the mist would behave itself. It is all a bit of a lottery of course but when I drove up the last stretch to the car park it was obvious that I would get some sort inversion for the sunrise. However, all my dithering and toing and froing had eaten into my allotted journey time leaving me with only forty minutes to get my boots on and get up the hill. My fitness must be ok just now as I managed to get there in half an hour, quite speedy by my standards.
And I was not disappointed with how the dawn unfolded; low cloud and mist from hill top to north coast horizon and breaks in the other directions together with a gradually reddening sky and mild breeze.
Initially though I was surprised and confused not to arrive at the top with the sun already risen as I'd had no confidence in my ability to make the necessary quick ascent. Then it dawned on me that I had actually managed to go faster than normal, not some misreading or malfunctioning of the car clock.
I hung around at the top for a fair while just enjoying the pre-dawn colouring in of the sky and then the subsequent fire of the sunrise.
The only slightly annoying thing was the new benches that had plonked there that got in the way of my photos a little bit. I can't really see the point of these. If folk are fit enough to stroll up to the top then I can't see them being bothered about having a bench to sit on when they get there. My wife was quite upset when she saw those "improvements" to one of her favourite small hills.
Anyway, it was a very fine morning but not so grand as I'd had on Fourman Hill a few years ago or last year's on Ben Rinnes. Part of that is possibly that Bin of Cullen doesn't really have any features aside from its Christmaspuddingness. So all of the drama of the sunrise was down to the inversion. Also, Bin of Cullen is ordinarily a fine viewpoint for the coast so with the harr in the usual reasons for thinking it a fine hill were gone, displaced by the attractions of the inversion and sunrise combination. Still, can't have everything!

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I'd caught a distant view of Bin of Cullen from the B9018 through a gap in the mist that confirmed a hill top with mist sitting below the summit but I was aware that this might not last so I was very pleased to find the inversion conditions persisting long enough for me to get above the mist.

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The reddening horizon.

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Wind turbine indicating the general depth of the fog, albeit there is a lot of variation.

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Initially looks like the sun might just briefly show between cloud layers but, in fact, it actually becomes more and more prominent for a good half hour.

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It was quite mesmerising watching the sunrise light catch the tops of the fog ripples between Little Bin and the horizon.

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I shifted vantage point from time to time to try to get more variety in the photos. To be honest, there's not only no features on the hill, there's also nothing to disrupt the skyline to the east apart from that rising sun and the bump of Little Bin.

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There were also lots of small birds springing up from the heather to enliven the scene.

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More turbines looming out of the mirk.

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Back at the trig point.

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Tap o' Noth would not have been such a good choice.

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Nor would the Buck though it is unlikely that I would have seriously considered squelching up there in the dark.

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Corryhabbie on the left.

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Turbines again.

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Lots of wee birds around.

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On the way down.

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Larch.

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Pine.

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Can't be many small hills that boast such a variety of woodland on their slopes.

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A bit of congestion at the passing place on the way back to the B9018.


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Comments: 2



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litljortindan


User avatar
Activity: Mountaineer
Mountain: Alligin
Place: Assynt

Munros: 127
Corbetts: 66
Grahams: 28
Donalds: 1
Wainwrights: 10
Hewitts: 12
Sub 2000: 47



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Statistics

2022

Trips: 25
Distance: 220.1 km
Ascent: 12000m
Munros: 5
Corbetts: 3
Grahams: 2
Sub2000s: 4

2021

Trips: 50
Distance: 410.05 km
Ascent: 19613m
Munros: 12
Corbetts: 5
Grahams: 1
Sub2000s: 7

2020

Trips: 39
Distance: 226.7 km
Ascent: 11266m
Munros: 4
Corbetts: 4
Grahams: 2
Sub2000s: 3

2019

Trips: 31
Distance: 187.05 km
Ascent: 9684m
Munros: 3
Corbetts: 3
Grahams: 2
Donalds: 1
Sub2000s: 1

2018

Trips: 28
Distance: 191.9 km
Ascent: 12074m
Corbetts: 5
Grahams: 2
Sub2000s: 4

2017

Trips: 31
Distance: 226.75 km
Ascent: 8838m
Munros: 1
Corbetts: 2
Sub2000s: 4

2016

Trips: 20
Distance: 229 km
Ascent: 9236m
Munros: 2
Corbetts: 1
Grahams: 3
Sub2000s: 6

2015

Trips: 39
Distance: 286 km
Ascent: 12583m
Munros: 4
Corbetts: 2
Grahams: 3
Sub2000s: 9

2014

Trips: 29
Distance: 3564.25 km
Ascent: 15847m
Munros: 2
Corbetts: 2
Sub2000s: 9
Hewitts: 3

2013

Trips: 29
Distance: 206.75 km
Ascent: 16700m
Munros: 1
Corbetts: 5
Grahams: 4
Sub2000s: 4

2012

Trips: 12
Distance: 73 km
Ascent: 5261m
Munros: 4
Corbetts: 1
Grahams: 1
Sub2000s: 2

2011

Trips: 6
Distance: 55 km
Ascent: 3917m
Grahams: 3
Sub2000s: 1

2010

Trips: 6
Distance: 22 km
Ascent: 2200m
Grahams: 1
Sub2000s: 1

2009

Trips: 4
Distance: 24.5 km
Ascent: 2194m
Munros: 1
Corbetts: 1

2008

Trips: 3
Distance: 24 km
Ascent: 3189m

2007

Trips: 5
Distance: 31 km
Ascent: 1896m

2006

Trips: 3
Distance: 37 km
Ascent: 3730m

2004

Trips: 4
Distance: 44 km
Ascent: 2706m
Corbetts: 1

2003

Trips: 5
Distance: 50 km
Ascent: 5760m
Grahams: 1
Sub2000s: 2

2002

Trips: 3
Distance: 29 km
Ascent: 2449m

2001

Trips: 6
Distance: 46 km
Ascent: 4245m
Munros: 2

2000

Trips: 1
Distance: 16 km
Ascent: 1300m
Munros: 3

1999

Trips: 1
Distance: 28 km
Ascent: 900m
Corbetts: 1

1998

Trips: 1
Distance: 8 km
Ascent: 1055m
Munros: 2

1997

Trips: 1
Distance: 27 km
Ascent: 1400m
Grahams: 1

1995

Trips: 4
Distance: 80 km
Ascent: 4322m
Munros: 3
Grahams: 1

1994

Trips: 2
Distance: 35.5 km
Ascent: 2477m
Corbetts: 2
Grahams: 1
Sub2000s: 1

1993

Trips: 1
Distance: 10 km
Ascent: 1100m

1992

Trips: 2
Distance: 46 km
Ascent: 2345m


Joined: Dec 11, 2011
Last visited: Aug 17, 2022
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